Previewing the Beverly D. was the 55th running of
the Modesty Handicap featuring fillies and mares going 1 3/16 miles on the turf. Shipping in from Belmont, five year old mare Fantasia ($9.80) took
home the victory for jockey Rajiv Maragh and trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
The victorious Fantasia was in great form as she posted a
bullet work at Presque Isle Downs three days earlier breezing five furlongs in
:58 2/5! She ran her typical race by
closing hard down the stretch taking over at the 1/16 pole for the win!
Turf machine, traveler and even money favorite Wasted Tears
took the lead from the gate, as is her typical running style, but couldn’t
quite get away from a tracking My Baby Baby and at the end just could not hold
off the late charging closers Fantasia and Romin Robin.
Fantasia now 1-for-1 on the turf course should be in a great
position to contend in the Beverly D. on August 13th.
On a side note, while Wasted Tears had beaten better company
in the past, I did mention to stats master extraordinaire Eric Slora before the
race that I wasn’t sure if she could go the full 1 3/16 miles. That, of course, did not prevent my seven year
old son Gabriel from choosing the post time favorite. He frequently eats chalk while his dad does
not. He says he likes to bet on the most
“popular” horse (you know, the one with their odds highlighted in yellow).
Previewing the Secretariat Stakes was the 97th
running of the American Derby featuring three year old colts and geldings going
1 3/16 miles on the turf. Post time
favorite and Arlington Classic winner Willcox Inn ($6.20) ran away with the
victory by four impressive lengths! (You
do realize that in the 97 years that this race has been run that the Cubs STILL
have not won the World Series…just sayin’.)
Willcox Inn ran in a stalking position in third around the
clubhouse turn chasing the blazing Zoebear who went out to a huge early lead
(nine lengths at one point) setting some pretty fast early fractions. Zoebear eventually faded and Willcox Inn took
the lead from the pack in the middle of the far turn and never looked
back! This horse must LOVE racing in Chicago as he is now a perfect 3-for-3 at Arlington. Michael Stidham had this horse in very good
form as he worked very well on the polytrack and turf in recent practice
runs. Suntracer and Derby Kitten finished
second and third respectively both closing in hard from the back of the pack.
While my choice was the fourth place finisher, Chalice, my
son Gabriel scored “big” on Wilcox Inn.
The crowd rejoiced.
Previewing the Arlington Million was the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap with colts and geldings going 1 1/4 miles on the turf. Post time favorite and Arlington favorite Shadwell
Stable’s Tajaaweed ($7.40) came from far back to take the victory by 1 ½
Tajaaweed, trained by Daniel Peitz, tracked along the rail
around the clubhouse turn, cut through the competition on the far turn, then
swung very wide to charge hard down the stretch to beat the rest of the
field. It was a pretty good run in my
opinion and he should be in a great spot to contend in the million dollar
race. Mister Marti Gras came out of
nowhere to beat a bunch of others to grab second. For a while it looked very contentious for
second, third, and fourth as four or five horses hit the wire within a length
of each other! It looked like it could
have been a blanket finish until Tajaaweed took over.
Also just so you know the all-turf $0.50 pick 5 paid a huge
$4,800 and change! Once again, value at Arlington even in the
popular turf races!
I know (and you know) I’m already a huge fan of Arlington Park
but I have to admit that the three stakes today were phenomenal! If this is any indication of what Arlington
Million day will be like then I can hardly wait for that day! I’m certainly going to be in attendance and I
hope you will be too!
What did you think of today’s races? Who are you looking forward to seeing in the
Million? Post a comment below or send me
a note as I would love to hear from you!